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Removal of Cyanide and Metals From Mineral Processing Waste Waters
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    The Bureau of Mines is investigating methods to treat waste water that contains cyanide. This report describes a new method that removes heavy metals and all forms of cyanide. In the first step, hydrogen peroxide and sodium thiosulfate are added at pH 7 to 9 in a 1:2 molar ratio to convert free and weakly complexed cyanide to nontoxic thiocyanate. Then steryldimethylbenzylammonium chloride is added to precipitate ferro-cyanide, and finally, ferric sulfate is added as a sweep floc and sequestrant for heavy metals. After the suspended solids settle, the water is polished by filtering. The water initially contained 1 to 5 mg/L Fe, 1 to 5 mg/L Cu, and 10 to 30 mg/L total cyanide; the level of each of these constituents was reduced to less than 0.02 mg/L.

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